IPG cuts its share in Weber Shandwick and Jack Morton Australia

The Interpublic Group (IPG) is no longer the majority owner of PR firm Weber Shandwick and brand experience agency Jack Morton Australia, having sold its majority stake in both companies earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Weber Shandwick confirmed to Mumbrella that Helen Graney, group managing director of Weber Shandwick and Jack Morton, became the majority shareholder of both businesses in January.

Graney had served as group managing director of Jack Morton since 2009 and started with the agency in 1999. In July of 2019, she was appointed to the same role at Weber Shandwick Australia in addition.

Helen Graney is now majority shareholder of both businesses

Mumbrella understands that clients and staff were informed of the management buy-out (MBO) deal back in January, but there was no public announcement made.

Global holding group IPG has retained a minority stake in both Weber Shandwick and Jack Morton.

“As of 15 January 2021, Helen Graney, group managing director of Weber Shandwick and Jack Morton in Australia, will become majority shareholder of the two businesses as they transition from wholly-owned operations to affiliate partners,” the spokesperson told Mumbrella.

“The move affords new growth opportunities for these businesses while continuing to be a part of the IPG family. Helen will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the businesses, as she has since 2019. IPG has retained a strategic minority interest.”

Ian Rumsby, chief strategy officer of Weber Shandwick Asia Pacific and chairman of the agency in Australia, stepped down from the business in July, 2020. He spent 19 years with the business.

This latest MBO comes after similar deals were completed for Weber Shandwick in the Republic Of Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2020.

IPG sold its majority stake in 303 MullenLowe, and a minority stake in Mediahub, in July to New Zealand-based holding company Attivo.

In February 2020, IPG sold McCann Australia to former CEO Ben Lilley. Then in July 2020, IPG sold brand strategy agency Futurebrand to CEO Richard Curtis.

IPG’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange reached a 12 month high yesterday to reach US$33.55 a share. It is currently valued at US$13.9 billion.


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